Should IRIMEE, Jamalpur offer non-SCRA seats?

SCRA, which stands for Special Class Railway Apprentice, is higher class officer in Railways in Engineering discipline. The degree is provided by Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Jamalpur. It is a Government Engg. College , the only one in India of its kind and also among the oldest of all technical training schools, and offers four year degree programme in Mechanical Engineering, specially suited to the needs of Railways. How? Most of their practicals are carried out in the oldest Indian railway workshop at Jamalpur itself, which is my birth place too. IRIMEE, which is far older to IITs, was established to fulfill high engineering and research needs of Railways. Needless to say that their contribution to improve railways has been immense..

Though SCRA has tie up with BIT Mesra, it is not very well publicised among elite students outside Bihar and has very few seats (just 10 as of now, for appearance of more than 1 lakh students!). As Railways is finding ways to take required engineers through IES, the need of IRIMEE is falling down. As you can see, the total intake has fallen to 10 for general category! However, as I said before, the students at IRIMEE are extremely bright and are soundly comparable to IITians (who need to pass IIT-JEE for entrance). In fact, many of IRIMEE graduates hold a seat in IIT, which they leave for getting admission into IRIMEE to become SCRAs. This is because SCRA is regarded as highest entry point for graduates into Railways, and are provided with high class facilities and training and has a great future.

From the viewpoint of Railways, though SCRA is falling in its charm and importance, however, from the viewpoint of Jamalpur as town, IRIMEE and Railway Workshop has been very important. IRIMEE not just qualifies as the only engineering college in Jamalpur, but also an old and elite one. Hence, from the viewpoint of Jamalpur, I personally believe that IRIMEE needs to expand as a Govt. Engg. Institute, than just being a legacy to produce SCRA graduates.

No doubt that IRIMEE is a high-class institute with modern training facilities in Mechanical and Electrical discipline. More so, its location is perfect as Rajmahal Hills at Jamalpur, which is safe from floods due to Ganga as well as has calm atmosphere around. The town itself is well connected to Calcutta and Delhi via many trains and has frequent connectivity with Patna, capital of Bihar. Due to large Railway Colony, the people are elite and educated, hence setting a good educational and healthy environment. The faculty is world-class and BIT Mesra professors add to its glow. Jamalpur Gymkhana is big and beautiful, and has all facilities for sports and entertainment. More so, it can even be expanded due to its uncrowded location. No doubt, IRIMEE has all the qualities to become a world-class Engineering Institute, not just in Mechanical and Electrical discipline, but also in today's hot picks like Computer Science and Engineering, Electronics Engineering etc.

Then, why not open IRIMEE for non-railway seats too? Its true that currently its a different case. SCRAs get stipends instead of paying fees, they have secured jobs and more so, they are specially trained in Railway systems, as that's where they are going to be placed too. SCRAs are provided with 1st class officer facilities. These things obviously make it an attractive place, even over IITs to many students. However, opening it for non-railway jobs may not be the same and hence would need a different system. Fees need to be structured for them. Labs would be needed for Computer and Electronics experiments. However, most important place where IRIMEE can gain is its placement. Being an old and proven institute, it can easily invite good companies or even have an agreement with other Govt. bodies who also go to IITs and other engineering institutes for recruitment. As it has a great faculty already, this can make IRIMEE a complete engineering college and will not take much time to reach to global stage.

Why to lose a great engineering college at a time when engineering is becoming the profession of the common youth? Government is already trying for new engineering colleges and inviting IT companies to set up their extensions here, seeing the success in south of India. We do need a visionary, and we do have many of them too. IRIMEE has a great chance to make it to the world and perhaps this is the best time, both for railways, and the people of India, specially Bihar.

10 comments:

  1. only problem it will face (as the IITs) is to attract more quality faculty so as to ensure same quality despite increased seats.

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  2. hey bhagwati.. nice to cu man.. well faculty is the problem even in IITs, though it wud be more acute in case of IRIMEE, as jmp is not such a big city.. still as irimee itself has great alumni, and besides the professors in Bihar remain unexploited, there could be a good chance arranging and supporting them with high end infrastructure..

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  3. That's an interesting proposition.
    The only pitfalls I see is the fact that going from an institute with a fixed customer base (The Railways) to one in the open market, will require changes from the ground up. Though bigger changes have been successfully done elsewhere, that still does not make the task any easier.
    Also its primarily a mechanical engg institution. Making a change to support other streams can be tried as it has been in ISM Dhanbad...

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  4. there is need for a vision in the ministry of railways for seeting up an engineering university than merely an engineering college at jamalpur in the pattern of other autonomous institure like reliance had already had it.A profit centre educational institute/university can be created at jamalpur.The jamalpur can be created as an educational hub with the assistance of railway ministry,HRD ministry and GOvernment of bihar.This is high time to think and bring out such lucrative sheme .A good idea has emerged and can be exploited.I am sure it will bring jamalpur once again on top of global map

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  5. ISM Dhanbad is a good example for such a transformation. I also agree with mr. bishwnath that Jamalpur can become educational hub in the Munger and nearby region. Jamalpur is already an established colony and houses educated people, also, much calm than rest of Munger in terms of criminal activities. Bhagalpur is good but not sufficient to cater to the needs of a large region around Munger.

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  6. Here is an interview with most famour alumni of IRIMEE Jamalpur: Dr Rajendra Pachauri, hope you enjoy reading it:

    http://www.app2us.com/interviews/rajendra_pachauri.htm

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  7. It was gr8 to know that Dr. Pachauri is IRIMEE alumnus, quite inspiring interview as well.

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  8. an attempt to revive 150 yr workshop on its 150th anniversary http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/Railways-to-modernize-Jamalpur-workshop/articleshow/11829864.cms?intenttarget=no

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  9. My dream college. My dream job.:-)

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  10. I will become an scra one day!

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